Imagini ale paginilor
PDF
ePub

PROMETHEUS.

A FRAGMENT.

Could I remount the river of my years
To the first fountain of our smiles and tears,
I would not trace again the stream of hours
Between their outworn banks of withcr'd flowers,
But bid it flow as nowuntil it glides
Into the number of the nameless tides.

Trax! to whose immortal eyes

The sufferings of mortality,

Seen in their sad reality, Were not as things that gods despise ; What was thy pity's recompense ? A silent suffering, and intense ; The rock, the vulture, and the chain, All that the proud can feel of pain, The agony they do not show The suffocating sense of wo,

Which speaks but in its loneliness, And then is jealous lest the sky Shoald have a listener, nor will sigh

Until its voice is echoless.

1

Titan! to thee the strife was given

Between the suffering and the will,

Which torture where they cannot kill : And the inexorable Heaven, And the deaf tyranny of Fate, The ruling principle of Hate, Which for its pleasure doth create The things it may annihilate, Refused thee even the boon to dic: The wretched gist eternity Was thine-and thou hast borne it well. All that the Thunderer wrong from theo Was but the menace which flung back Ou him the torments of thy rack; The fate thou didst so well foresee, But would not to appease him tell; And in thy Silence was his Sentence, And in his Soul a vain repentance, And evil dread so ill dissembled, That in his hand the lightnings trembled.

What is this Death ?-a quiet of the heart ?
The whole of that of which we are a part?
For life is but a vision-what I see
Of all which lives alone is life to me,
And being so—the absent are the dead,
Who haunt us from tranquillity, and spread
A dreary shroud around us, and invest
With sad remembrancers our hours of rest.

The absent are the dead-for they are cold,
And ne'er can be what once we did behold;
And they are changed, and cheerless,-or if yct
The unforgotten do not all forget,
Since thus divided—equal must it be
If the deep barrier be of earth, or sea ;
It may be both—but oue day end it must
In the dark union of insensate dust.

The under-earth inhabitants—are they
But mingled millions decomposed to clay?
The ashes of a thousand ages spread
Wherever man has trodden or shall tread ?
Or do they in their silent cities dwell
Each in his incommunicative cell ?
Or have they their own language ? and a senso
Of breathless being ?-darken d and intense
As midnight in her solitude ?--Oh Earth!
Where are the past ?--and wherefore had they birth ?
The dead are thy inheritors—and wo
But bubbles on thy surface; and the key
Of thy profundity is in the grave,
The ebon portal of thy peopled cave,
Where I would walk in spirit, and behold
Our elements resolved to things untold,
And fathom hidden wonders, and explore
The essence of great bosoms now no more.

Diodati, July, 1816.

Thy Godlike crime was to be kind,

To render with thy precepts less

The sum of human wretchedness,
And strengthen Man with his own mind;
But bafiled as thou wert from high,
Still in thy patient energy,
In the endurance, and repulse

Of thine impenetrable Spirit,
Which Earth and Heaven could not convulse,

A mighty lesson we inherit : Thou art a symbol and a sign

To Mortals of their fate and force;
Like thee, Man is in part divine,

A troubled stream from a pure source ;
And Man in portions can foresee
H's

l's own funereal destiny ;
His wretchedness, and his resistance,
And his sad unallied existence :
To which his Spirit may oppose
Itself--and equal to all woes,

And a firm will, and a deep sense,
Which even in torture can descry

Its own concentred recompense, Trinmphant where it dares desy, And making Death a Victory.

Diodati, July, 1816.

SONNET TO LAKE LEMAN. Rousseau—Voltaire—our Gibbon-and De Stadl

Leman!' these names are worthy of thy shore, Thy shore of names like these! wert thou no more, Their memory thy remembrance would recall: To them thy banks were lovely as to all,

But they have made them lovelier, for the loro

Of mighty minds doth hallow in the coro Of human hearts the ruin of a wall

Where dwelt the wise and wondrous; but by thee, How much more, Lake of Beauty! do we feel,

In sweetly gliding o'er thy crystal sea,
The wild glow of that not ungentle zeal,

Which of the heirs of immortality
Is proud, and makes the breath of glory real!

Diodati, July, 1816.

stead of any consolatory or monitory text, this Epicurean line from one of his own poems

*Life to the last enjoy'd, here Churchill lies.'” Sonkey': Cowper, vol. ii. p. 159.)

1 Geneva, Ferney, Copet, Lausanne.-[See onti, p. 45.“I have traversed all Roussean's ground with the Héloise before me, and am struck to a degree that I cannot express, with the force and accuracy of his descriptions, and the beauty of their reality."--Byron Letters, 1816.)

ROMANCE MUY DOLOROSO

A VERY MOURNFUL BALLAD

DEL SITIO Y TOMA DE ALHAMA."

ON THE SIEGE AND CONQUEST OF ALHAMA, Which, in the Arabic language, is to the following purport.

Tue Moorish King rides up and down
Through Granada's royal town;
From Elvira's gates to those
Of Bivarambla on he goes.

Wo is me, Alhama!
Letters to the monarch tell
How Alhama's city fell :
In the fire the scroll he threw,
And the messenger he slew.

Wo is me,

Alhama!

El qual dezia en Aravigo assi. PASSEAVASE el Rey Moro Por la ciudad de Granada, Desde las puertas de Elvira Hasta las de Bivarambla.

Ay de mi, Alhama! Cartas le fueron venidas Que Alhama era ganada. Las cartas echò en el fuego, Y al mensagero matava.

Ay de mi, Alhama ! Descavalga de una mula, Y en un cavallo cavalga. Por el Zacatin arriba Subido se avia al Alhambra.

Ay de mi, Alhama ! Como en el Alhambra estuvo, Al mismo punto mandava Que se toquen las trompetas Con añafiles de plata.

Ay de mi, Alhama! Y que atambores de guerra Apriessa toquen alarma; Por que lo

oygan sus Moros, Los de la Vega y Granada.

Ay de mi, Alhama ! Los Moros que el son oyeron, Que al sangriento Marte llama, Uno a uno, y dos a dos, Un gran esquadron formavan.

Ay de mi, Alhama! Alli hablo un Moro viejo; Desta manera hablava: Para que nos llamas, Rey? Para que es este llamada ?

Ay de mi, Alhama! Aveys de saber, amigos, Una nueva desdichada : Que Christianos, con braveza, Ya nos han tomado Alhama.

Ay de mi, Alhama ! Alli habló un viejo Alfaqui, De barba crecida y cana: Bien se te emplea, buen Rey, Buen Rey; bien se to empleava.

Ay do mi, Alhama! Mataste los Bencerrages, Que era la flor de Granada: Cogiste los tornadizos De Cordova la nombrada.

Ay de mi, Alhama ! Por esso mereces, Rey, Una pene bien doblada ; Que te pierdas tu y el reyno, Y que se pierda Granada.

Ay de mi, Alhama !

He quits his mule, and mounts his horse,
And through the street directs his course;
Through the street of Zacatin
To the Alhambra spurring in.

Wo is me, Alhamna!
When the Alhambra walls he gain'd,
On the moment he ordain'd
That the trumpet straight should sound
With the silver clarion round.

Wo is me, Alhama ! And when the hollow drums of war Beat the loud alarm afar, That the Moors of town and plain Might answer to the martial strain,

Wo is me, Alhama!
Then the Moors, by this aware
That bloody Mars recall’d them there,
One by one, and two by two,
To a mighty squadron grew.

Wo is me, Alhama!
Out then spake an aged Moor
In these words the king before,
“ Wherefore call on us, oh king?
What may mean this gathering !

Wo is me, Alhama!
“Friends! ye have, alas ! to know
Of a most disastrous blow,
That the Christians, stern and bold,
Have obtain'd Alhama's hold."

Wo is me, Alhama!
Out then spake old Alfaqui,
With his beard so white to see,
“Good King ! thou art justly served,
Good King ! this thou hast deserved.

Wo is me, Alhama!
“ By thee were slain, in evil hour,
The Abencerrage, Granada's flower;
And strangers were received by thee
or Cordova the Chivalry.

Wo is me, Alhama!
“ And for this, oh King! is sent
On thee a double chastisement:
Thee and thine, thy crown and realm,
One last wreck shall overwhelm.

Wo is me, Alhama!

i The effect of the original ballad-which existed both in Spanish and Arabic-was such that it was forbidden

to be sung by the Moors, on pain of death, within Gra nada.

[blocks in formation]

SONETTO DI VITTORELLI.

TRANSLATION FROM VITTORELLI.

PER MONACA.

ON A NUN.

Sonetto composto in nome di un genitore, a cui era morta

poco innanzi una figlia appena inaritata ; e diretto al ge-
nitore della sacra sposa.
Di duo vaghe donzello, oneste, accorte

Lieti e miseri padri il ciel ne feo,
Il ciel, che degne di più nobil sorte

L'una o l' altra veggendo, ambo chiedeo.
La mia fu tolta da veloce morte

A le fumanti tede d' imeneo:
La tua, Francesco, in sugellate porto

Eterna prigioniera or si rendeo.
Ma tu almeno potrai de la gelosa

Irremeabil soglia, ove s' asconde,

La sua tenera udir voce pietosa.
Io verso un fiume d' amarissiin' onde,

Corro a quel marmo, in cui la figlia or posa,
Batto, e ribatto ma nessun risponde.

Sonnet composed in the name of a father, whose daughter

had recently died shortly after her marriage; and at

dressed to the father of her who had lately taken the ve! Of two fair virgins, modest, though admired,

Heaven made us happy, and now, wretched sires ; Heaven for a nobler doom their worth desires, And gazing upon either, both required. Mine, while the torch of Hymen newly fired

Becomes extinguish'd, soon-tor soon--expires;
But thine, within the closing grate retired,

Eternal captive, to her God aspires.
But thou at least from out the jealous door,

Which shuts between your never-meeting eyes,

Mayst hear her sweet and pious voice once more : I to the marble, where my daughter lies,

Rush,—the swoln flood of bitterness I pour,
And knock, and knock, and knock-but none re-

plies.

TO THOMAS MOORE. My boat is on the shore,

And my bark is on the sea ; But, before go, Tom Moore,

Here's a double health to thee!

STANZAS FOR MUSIC. Braut be the place of thy soul !

No lovelier spirit than thine E'er burst from its mortal control,

In the orbs of the blessed to shine. On earth thou wert all but divine,

As thy soul shall immortally be; And our sorrow may cease to repine

When we know that thy God is with thee. Light be the turf of thy tomb!

May its verdure like emeralds be! There should not be the shadow of gloom,

In aught that reminds us of thee. Young flowers and an evergreen treo

May spring from the spot of thy rest : But nor cypress nor yew let us see ;

For why should we mourn for the bless’d ?

Here's a sigh to those who love me,

And a smile to those who hate; And, whatever sky 's above me,

Here's a heart for every fate. Though the ocean roar around me,

Yet it still shall bear me on; Though a desert should surround me,

It hath springs that may be won. Were 't the last drop in the well,

As I gasp'd upon the brink, Ere my fainting spirit fell,

'Tis to thee that I would drink. With that water, as this wine,

The libation I would pour Should be peace with thine and mine,

And a health to thee, Tom Moore.

STANZAS FOR MUSIC.

July, 1817.

They say that Hope is happiness;

But genuine Love must prize the past, And Memory wakes the thoughts that bless :

They rose the first—they set the last; And all that Memory loves the most

Was once our only Hope to be, And all that Hope adored and lost

Hath melted into Memory. Alas! it is delusion all :

The future cheats us from afar, Nor can we be what we recall,

Nor dare we think on what we are.

[blocks in formation]

if" This should have been written fifteen moons ago : the first stanza was. I am just come out from an hour's swim in the Adriatic."-Lord Byron to Mr. Moore, July 10, 1817.)

? [" The llelen of Canova (a bust which is in the house

of Madame the Countess d’Albrizzi) is," says Lord Byron " without exception, to my mind, the most perfectly beautiful of human conceptions, and far beyond my ideas of human execution.”

Lord Byron to Mr. Murray, Nov. 25, 1816.)

[blocks in formation]

?("Are you not near the Luddites? By the Lord ! ir ter a week of half delirium, burning skin, thirst, hot head. there's a row, but I'll be among ye ! How go on the wear ache, horrible pulsation, and no sleep, by the blessing of barers-the breakers of frames-the Lutherans of politics-the ley water, and refusing to see my physician, I recovered. reformers?.... There's an amiable chanson for you!-all It is an epidemic of the place. Here are some versicles, impromptu. I have written it principally to shock your which I made one sleepless night."- Lord Byron to Mr. neighbor ---, who is all clergy and loyalty-mirth and in Moore, March 25, 1817.) nocence-milk and water."- Lord Byron to Mr. Moore, Dec.

b[The “Missionary” was written by Mr. Bowles ; “Il24, 1816.)

derim” by Mr. Gally Knight; and “ Margaret of Anjou" by ' (" And there are songs and quarers, roaring, humming, Miss Holford.) Guitars, and every other sort of struinming."- Beppo.

(For some particulars relating to Dr. Polidori see See ante, p. 155.)

Moore's “ Notices." "I never," says Lord Byron, “ was 3["I went to most of the ridottos, &c., and though I did

much more disgusted with any human production than with

the eternal nonsense, and tracasseries, and emptiness, and not dissipate much upon the whole, yet I found the sword wearing out the scabbard, though I have but just turned

ill-humor, and vanity of this young person, but he has the corner of twenty-nine."--Lord Byron to Mr. Moore, Feb.

some talent, and is a man of honor, and has dispositions of 25, 1617.)

amendment. Therefore use your interest for him, for he is

improved and improveable. You want it'civil and delicate * ("* I have been ill with a slow sever, which at last took to declension for the medical tragedy ? Take it.”--Lord Byflying, and became as quick as need be. But, at length, af ron to Mr. Murray, Aug. 21, 1817.)

« ÎnapoiContinuați »